Room Service

Room Service with The Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, and Ann Miller. Groucho plays a theatrical producer with Chico and Harpo as his assistants. They and their troop have been staying in the White Way Hotel for months rehearsing a play to debut in the hotel's associated theater. Unfortunately, they have no income and have been running up their hotel bill with meal charges. The hotel manager is Groucho's brother-in-law and has been covering for him, but the jig is up when a hotel auditor from the home office comes in to go over the books. The bulk of the movie is about the Marx brothers either stalling for time (until they can get a backer for the play, until the play can be produced, until the play can be performed) or scamming for food (convincing a waiter to bring them someone else's room service order, trying to catch a live turkey gained from an illegitimate raffle).

One of the main stalling tactics is to get the play's author (Frank Albertson*) to pretend he is sick so they can't be evicted from their room.  This ploy goes as far as to have him pretend to commit suicide and to be mourned by a chorus of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".  Lucille Ball plays Groucho's girlfriend but this movie lacks the humorous lecherousness of other Marx Brothers movies.

According to my calculations, this is 38th movie from 1938 I've watched this year. Woohoo! I have a bunch of comments I haven't posted yet. I will eventually catch up.

*Frank Albertson played Sam Wainwright in It's a Wonderful Life (according to IMDB) but I didn't recognize him at all.


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